Jon Jones manager Malki Kawa has claimed that he’s almost certain that the UFC star will fight in the coming year, despite a potentially lengthy drug suspension still hanging over his head.
For the second time in the space of a couple of years, Jones failed a USADA drug test just a day prior to winning the UFC Light-heavyweight title back from Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 last year, testing positive for the banned steroid Turinabol.
However, despite his chequered past, Jones has continued to protest his innocence since then and he and his team have raised some question marks over the test that aren’t easily dismissed, such as how the fighter managed to successfully pass tests both a few weeks before and a few weeks after the failed one.
After months of investigation, Kawa has now signaled that a verdict could be coming in the near future.
“By the end of this month, I think we get some clarity as far as what’s going on. We have a hearing with the California State Athletic Commission and we’re hoping to get the investigation with USADA wrapped up by then, as well,” Kawa told Luke Thomas this week.
“Hopefully, it all works out that way. If it doesn’t, I got to assume that by the end of March, for a fact, we will get this resolved and get an idea of what it’s looking like.”
Kawa then goes on to makes a bold claim by suggesting that there’s an extremely high chance that Jones will be back in action later this year.
“If USADA is a respectable organization, which I think that they are, and they take all the information they compiled, all the interviews that they’ve done and all the things they’ve seen, they know for a fact that Jon Jones was not cheating and he was not intentionally taking any type of substance. I think they know that and everybody can come to that conclusion based on the circumstances of his situation. That’s the most I am going to say at this point because obviously it’s on-going.
“I’d like to say (there’s) about a 95-percent chance (he fights in 2018).”